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tv   Tavis Smiley  PBS  April 26, 2013 12:00am-12:31am PDT

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tavis: good evening. from los angeles, i am tavis smiley.>> tonight, a conversation with kevin bacon. fox drama " in the the following," where he plays a earned out agent to catch a killer. and hisormers of kevin coasters have been praised, but it also has been criticized for the level of violence. >> there is a saying that dr. king had that said there is always the right time to do the right thing. i just try to live my life every day by doing the right thing. we know that we are only halfway to completely eliminate hunger, and we have a lot of work to do. walmart committed $2 billion to fighting hunger in the u.s.
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as we work together, we can stamp hunger out. >> and by contributions to your pbs station from viewers like you. thank you. tavis: three years, kevin bacon told his agent not to pitch him for tv series. that is until he saw how much fun his gorgeous wife cure cedric was having on her -- was having onwick her tv show.
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you are coming back. that means you must be having fun. let's take a look at a clip from "the following." rex ryan harding. what can i do for you, joe? >> i wanted to see how your agent -- your friend agent weston was doing. >> he is expected to do a full recovery. >> that is good to hear. >> story by her friends though. they are kind of debt. >> that's ok, i have more. >> so we want, joe? >> you know, just to chat. feeling a little bit down. tell me, do you miss clear, ryan? i do. ironically. the only person who really understands how i feel about my wife, being that we both love
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the same woman. >> i thought you didn't want to do this. >> sometimes things just fall into place at a time in your life when you don't expect it to and it's working out. tavis: what about it is working for you that you thought might not, which is why you didn't want to do it initially? >> a lot of people talk about how hard it is, the amount of pages you have to do in a day and the hours. for me, that is the really fun part because that is spending a lot of my life acting. when you do a movie, there is so much time spent waiting to get it, waiting for them to be set up, to be lived, to be promoting it come all of that kind of stuff. i looked at my life and maybe 10% of my life i was actually plain a scene. and now, i'm acting all the time and it's great. i love it. tavis: this is different from what kyra was doing since you
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are on network television as opposed to cable. does that make a difference? >> i think that is in a shifting a little bit. for instance, the network traditionally only do 22 episodes in a season. is 15, things like that. i think that works are willing to more and more push the envelope. i don't think there's necessarily the same kind of scheduled where things only work in the fall. our stuff starts in january. the whole fit -- the whole industry is changing because of many people watch things in ddr or other platforms and i think everybody is kind of scratching their heads about how they -- how this will play out. i don't feel all that different on a network show. of course, i have never been on a cable show. tavis: us is your first time doing network really. >> except for my days and so barbara. tavis: guiding light and search for tomorrow? >> yeah.
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[laughter] tavis: after season one, what do you make of your character in this -- in his first season? do you like this character? >> yes, i mean, i am to stand him. i feel like i am walking in his shoes to the extent that we all like ourselves, i guess, i like them. he is as complex as i hoped he would be. i think it is interesting when you take on a television series because you really don't have a chance coming like in our case, to read the pilot. and i saw the pilot, i thought, is that all i did? ,s that michael guy e and no it's not. each week, we at the peel back another layer. we see more and more bounce back story. we see more and more about the kind of darkness that is in his deserves is there and some its planning. that is what we have been to do. tavis: speaking of some explain, i know this is not first time you have been asked this and to those critics who think it is a
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little too violent, a little too graphic, your thoughts? >> look, we are making a thriller. if you make a comedy, if i'm sitting there come either be laughing. if you make something that is best to be moving come i want real tears running down my -- if it's something that's bus to be scary and your hardest is to be in your throat that is what we try to deliver week after week. i guess the whole issue of violence in the media, should be part of the discussion? absolutely, it should be part of the discussion. let's talk about the works of william shakespeare if you really want to go back and talk about things a popular culture that involve violence. this has been going on for a long time. -- i don't think the media is 100% to blame. >> is there something about this particular character that you revel in, celebrate, applaud
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with regard to the work is doing doing beyond your just being able to play him as an actor? doesn't make sense? is a something you think that we can appreciate about the character beyond the fact that he is just another job for kevin bacon? >> he is flawed. there's no doubt about it. but he is heroic. he is trying to do the right thing. .e is willing to risk his life he often feels as though he has very little to lose. and that is something that i think is interesting to play. it's not me. you know what i mean? i think about a cop who will tackle a guy who is wearing an explosive vest. that is not me. but to put somebody like that up on the screen is challenging
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because you want to make it as real as possible. but it's also interesting and it is the place that i wanted to go with this guy. tavis: i'm glad this is not the case, and i'm sure you aren't even more but this is not the case, but how would you have processed this if you made the decision to continue or television and come after a season or in the midst of the season -- because tv is very unforgiving these days, tv executives are not forgiving -- if it had not been so successful and pick a for second season? >> i think i would have been disappointed because some people say, well, well, you know, it's just a process. you have to wash her hands of it and it is all right of your control. when i go to work am i feel the opposite. i want everything to work that i want people to see it and i want the marketing to be good and i want the music to be good and the casting -- to be good. i get obsessed with the whole thing really working.
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i'm doing itime, don't know how many movies and only a handful of them were hits. [laughter] so i've gotten pretty good at saying well, ok. we will flush that wine and another one and another one. [laughter] that is not new to me. and the other thing is that, we shot the pilot and thought that is good, man. we did a good job. we feel that we have continued to do good work and i'm proud of the work. so that is something that i can kind of rely on. tavis: over the years of doing this, 10 seasons now come i have talked with a lot of eric -- a lot of actors -- every thespian has a different way of assessing, how they elect of the work and the goal of the work, some who never want to see themselves on film. but to your point, since you put so much of yourself in it and you want everything to be right
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and you want the marketing and the music and it thing you just laid out, when something doesn't work for you -- you were being funny about it, but searcy, when something doesn't work for you, how do you process that? >> i think there are two things. one, you have to have something in your life that's more important than the work. people don't really like to admit that. i think the you have to find something else. i don't know what it is. -- for me,r dad or it's just family. if i have my family to go to in my close friends, you can kind of get past any low points. i'mhe other thing is that in it for the long haul. this one didn't happen.
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this one did happen. this was pretty good. all see what happenes extra. but i'm not going anywhere. tavis: when did you make the decision for yourself that you were in it for the long haul? that, come what may, i'm going to stick with this? >> when i was 13. tavis: that is pretty early on. [laughter] >> once i put my eye on the prize, there was no turning back. i was very driven. tavis: you mentioned music. you want the marketing to be right in the music to be right. how into, if at all -- you are focused on doing the acting thing, but since you are a music man, do you pay attention to the music -- -- to the music? >> i love the music. i think the music is great. tavis: you are a music guy and you are telling them to take the music out? >> i think sometimes we rely a little too much -- i don't mean us, but people in general --
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certainly network television in general -- relies too much on keeping people focused and emotional and scared and pushing the envelope by building wall- to-wall music. ?avis: what is jobs without it >> but if you look at just, you see plenty of moments when there is nothing, which makes that even more our full. that is my point. when you have empty space, when the music comes in, it really make it work. it is -- if it is nonstop, if it's wall-to-wall, you become numb to it. i think that is often one of the differences between network and cable. one of the things that we do sometimes -- we come i have very little to do with it -- in set of actual cues, which are great when they are there, it is sound design. so it is noises that happen to be in the atmosphere.
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you build them as a piece of score that is making you feel that tension. it is things like -- stuff like that is natural sound that is actually the link -- actually building. take up i'm no act -- tavis: i'm no expert at this. it seems to me that, if you pulled the music out, tavis and the rest of us as consumers and viewers, if we are used to and have become to rely on and become lazy about needing to have the sound score, the music in every scene to make us feel a certain thing, when you pull it out, the act inc. make -- the acting may be pretty good. >> that is why i don't want it there. we are there. we are making it work. just give us a chance to put
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across what people are feeling without you telling people this is a sad moment, this is a happy moment, this is a scary moment. it does. it requires -- but it also challenges people. people are used to sing something again and again and again and you sort of get numb to it. if you switch it up a little bit, you go, oh, that will wake you up and say that this is a little different from what i am used to. tavis: since you are a music man and you had the bacon brothers and you toured all out, in the reverse, or conversely, what do you think, for you at least, for all of us, is the value of -- >> music. tavis: music. >> music is a soundtrack for your life. i don't know if you've ever heard some tune and you just get swept right back to that point in your life. tavis: all the time. whether i want to go back or not. [laughter] >> exactly.
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and to be able to play it and share it with people, with their band, it's an absolute honor and it's so great for me. i have to go to such a dark lace as the character in "the hollow -- "the following." it's always murder and mayhem and somebody dying and about to die rhyme fighting or shooting someone. to go and play music, which is freeing, it feels good and it makes people feel good. that is one of the great joys of having it. how do you not let that get on you? is got a get in you to be able to play it. get in you but not get on you when you are done? >> it does get on me. gets to deal with
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that? it does start to come into your life, especially with the amount of times that i am walking in these shoes and the type of stuff that we're dealing with. -- myk that my daughter wife was working down in nashville when i wrapped the show and my daughter called my wife and said, you won't believe that that is in such a good mood. he's like a different person walking around house. i realize that that is just the place that i kind of -- daddy's got a go there. that is what we do. tavis: does that trouble you or bother you? the acting is the acting. but this is real life. does it trouble you when you hear your daughter on the phone telling your wife daddy is actually in a good mood and you know that he has to do with the stuff that you brought home with you in the office? >> i guess, yeah, it does trouble me.
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but i also know that i'm pretty good at making sure that i don't take it too far and that i'm able to connect with my wife and connect with my children and step outside of it. also, you have to understand. withds and my wife grew up actors. they know that is the deal. that has been their life in the beginning. they also know that, when it's over, it's over. i did this movie "murder in the first," and i was really skinny and i was being beaten all the time and locked in a cell. i was covered with dirt and i was in a really dark place. the day we wrapped, we went to hawaii. there is a sure that i have for my head is shaved and i am emaciated holding my little girl with a big smile on my
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face. and you can see that it was over and i let the guy go. so they know that, when it's done, i can say goodbye to him. right now we are on hiatus and i'm not thinking about it too much. tavis: right now, you're being nice. [laughter] >> yeah. tavis: i'm glad i caught you though. they would've been different if i caught you a few weeks ago. [laughter] i wonder if he gives you a greater appreciation for people who actually do this every day. you're playing this on television. i was watching for the umpteenth time "heat" on cable. there is a great scene where pacino comes home and he is talking to his wife at the dinner table and he didn't get home for dinner that night and he stars china to explain to her what he has seen that day, the death and the destruction -- and he starts trying to
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explain to her what he has seen a day, the death and the destruction. that is what i am trying to ask you, if that gives you a greater appreciation for the folks who do this every day and cannot leave it at the office? >> i have an amazing appreciation for those who put themselves in many places that are in harms way. dangerhave to do with and threats to their lives and other people's lives. i cannot imagine it. i've often said, you know, i and even -- people get this kind of , weession that, actors could do this kind of stuff like that. and i think, i couldn't do what you do. i couldn't go to work everyday and feel like my my life was in danger or that i was going to have to deal with death tragedy -- death and tragedy. it's a credible the people can
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do this and i don't know how they do it. take of some of the stuff on this -- tavis: some of the stuff on the shows pretty sick. do you ever get sick? >> sometimes, i watch an episode and i'm kind of like, oh. certainly. the thing about scary stuff is that different things affect different people in different ways. some people are scared by the idea -- done up in the closet because there is a guy in there with a knife. that is the thing that really scares them. some people are more affect it by a creepy undertone. but if some agents out of a closet, they could care less. some people are more affected by the idea of a cold -- by a cult of serial killers. that gets them on edge. you have to get there on time. tohink everybody reacts entertainment with a different kind of visceral way, probably mostly based on their personal
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expenses. so there are times when i get a little bit creeped out. for sure. so this series and the fact that it's coming back for season two, does that mean that it will be well before we see you on the big screen? >> no, i have a film coming out of summer called "ripd." jeff bridges and ryan reynolds are the stars and mary louise parker. it's great. tonally, i think it would say it's a little bit like men in black or "ghostbusters," you know, the kind of vibe. it has that kind of action and supernatural kind of comic look but also funny. it's cool. tavis: this boston story has been crazy late. >> yes, it has. i have a lot of feelings about boston. we met and i fell in love with my wife in boston. i remember it being february am
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a freezing them and trying to convince her to give it up -- [laughter] on the banks of the charles river. [laughter] ?ake of that your story >> yeah. it is been -- it has been cut will to watch all of this unfold. dates are many getting on your time off? >> we have plenty of dates coming up. we are doing some wesco den some east coast ansa midwest. tavis: i didn't realize that you guys -- i saw this and i said, is that right? you guys are up to six cities now? >> yeah, the hardest thing for me right now is that i'm a songwriter. something that has been really driving the six cds. i am in a little bit of a
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writing slump, the first time it has really happened to me since i started writing songs. that is an interesting thing to deal with because you kind -- i look at my guitar and i think, come on, buddy. [laughter] give me something. but you never know. i go through phases where they'll start coming. but my brother has been doing a lot more writing. tavis: do you have any idea why you're in a slump? >> i don't know. i wish i knew. if i knew -- tavis: you might be out of it. [laughter] quest that is the amazing thing about songwriting. it is very elusive. some people said done every day and try to come up with titles and then they -- but it has never really happened like that for me. it is always in the kind of like to me you a cup and there it is and you pick up -- you wake up and there it is and you pick up the instruments and you pick up the changes.
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it's not like i stopped writing. it just hasn't been popping out. tavis: number seven, is there a theme to this one? >> the only theme is that i think we will call it $.36. my brother had a song called " 30 six cents," which is what you find any musicians pocket after he dies. [laughter] "493 have a song called miles," which is kind of an empty nest tune. so numbers are the same. take him it's coming together. i always enjoy having kevin bacon on the program. it shows called "the following. inson two will be underway the not-too-distant future. hope to see again soon. >> and would love to back. >> that is our show for tonight. thank you for watching. as always, keep the faith. ♪
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♪ >> for more information on today's show, visit tavis smiley at pbs.org. tavis: hi, i'm tavis smiley. join me next time for a chadwick bosewith man. >> there is a saying that dr.
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king had that said there is always the right time to do the right thing. i just try to live my life every day by doing the right thing. we know that we are only halfway to completely eliminate hunger, and we have a lot of work to do. walmart committed $2 billion to fighting hunger in the u.s. as we work together, we can stamp hunger out. >> and by contributions to your pbs station from viewers like you. thank you. >> be more.
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>> deadly smog, piles of burning garbage, unregulated industrial pollution, toxic insecticides. everyday, barely-treated sewage spews into the waterways. it's a world with no recycling, no clean air act, no clean water act, no endangered species act. there is little protected open space and no rapid transit system. 65 days a year the air quality is so poor, it's deemed dangerous to human health. this is the bay area in 1969.

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